Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

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Tube of delight!

#26 2006-12-10 01:08:45

Jordan
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

That is an impressive dictionary. 

Tairaku just asked the question "So "Suizen" is not Zen? Zen why does it have "zen" in the word?"


Be Well and Happy!
Gassho!

Jordan

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#27 2006-12-10 01:19:05

amokrun
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Jordan wrote:

Tairaku just asked the question "So "Suizen" is not Zen? Zen why does it have "zen" in the word?"

Ayup, that's correct. I mostly replied to your reply that:

Jordan wrote:

I asked my wife who speaks Japanese as her primary language, and checked several dictionaries, suizen apparently means to have a desire for something.

When Tairaku said Suizen, he most likely means 吹禅 rather than some other alternative. Although one could argue that he didn't specify that, it would seem likely that he would use the term that is fairly well known to shakuhachi people rather than some term which would be meaningless to almost everyone here, save for those who actually know japanese well enough to be able to tell what other possible means suizen could have.

Although it feels a bit silly to argue someone else's point, I think what Tairaku attempted to say was that suizen (吹禅, "blowing Zen") has a connection to Zen, which is evident from the fact that the kanji Zen (禅) is present in the word itself. Now, I'm sure there are words that include the kanji but have nothing to do with Zen tradition.

I think the problem we have is that we are both arguing different things. My attempt was purely to display the actual (or most likely) meaning of the term being discussed so that we wouldn't get side-tracked from the real issue (connection between shakuhachi playing and Zen). I find this topic rather interesting and would like to see more debate once all the misunderstandings have been cleared.

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#28 2006-12-10 01:24:37

Jordan
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

"I was curious what the translation was that you had found. My best guess is that the suizen you refer to is written as 垂涎. It means something like a rather strong desire for something (so strong, in fact, that you are drooling). It is, however, entirely different thing than the suizen (吹禅) mentioned earlier. I believe the first kanji means "to hang", "droop" or such and the second means saliva."

Yes, actualy my wife was up and pluged it in to her little computerized dictionary using romaji, and that was the definition she came up with.
I would like to see the kanji Tairaku was refering to and bounce it against some things...

This realy was not intended to be a linguistic debate though, more of an intent of the language used, hense the referance to  Master Dogen's Shobogenzo.

Last edited by Jordan (2006-12-10 01:25:07)


Be Well and Happy!
Gassho!

Jordan

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#29 2006-12-10 01:37:18

amokrun
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Posts: 413

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Jordan wrote:

Yes, actualy my wife was up and pluged it in to her little computerized dictionary using romaji, and that was the definition she came up with.

Yeah, I noticed that dictionary actually contains only one "suizen" word. Then again, "to blow Zen" is not really one word in dictionary sense and thus it's quite likely that it doesn't come up if you search for it like that.

Jordan wrote:

I would like to see the kanji Tairaku was refering to and bounce it against some things...

Chances are that he'll either confirm or deny my logic soon enough, but in the meantime, here's the definitions so that you can go through them yourself.

Sui (吹)
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi- … 1MKJ%BF%E1

Zen (禅)
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi- … 1MKJ%C1%B5

The first means, for example, "to blow". The second is the kanji typically used for Zen. If you plug the complete word, 吹禅, into something like Google, you get a lot of references to shakuhachi discussion, recordings and so forth (in japanese, of course).

Finally, if you accept Wikipedia as a reliable source, you can check this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suizen

The article starts by showing the kanji for Suizen, which is consistent with my interpretation. Although the article is currently rather lacking, it does speak of Suizen as Zen practice.

Anyhow, Tairaku, if you get a chance at some point, could you confirm or deny my logic here? Thanks.

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#30 2006-12-10 02:17:35

dstone
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From: Vancouver, Canada
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Regarding "suizen"...  Amokrun is correct regarding the kanji for "blowing zen".

Here you can see the "suizen" in question, outside Myoan-ji in Kyoto.
http://bitmason.com/photo/japan2005/0301_dsc_1439

More kanji with a shakuhachi reference at the gate, here:
http://bitmason.com/photo/japan2005/0300_dsc_1366

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#31 2006-12-10 05:20:15

Tairaku 太楽
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

I don't speak or read Japanese. However Zazen practitioners have recommended shakuhachi to me as a substitute for zazen. And my Japanese shakuhachi teachers have told me that what we do is called "suizen" which they translate into English as "blowing zen". Rather than discuss semantics, because it is obvious that at least some Japanese people consider "suizen" to be a zen practice, maybe we should focus on whether or not playing honkyoku is Zen. If Zen is a form of Buddhism then my vote is in the affirmative. My understanding is that there are numerous zen arts including shakuhachi, dance, archery, calligraphy besides sitting and that sometimes these are recommended to various individuals depending upon their personality.

But as I said I don't speak Japanese nor do I consider myself an expert on Buddhism. However my wife is a lifelong Buddhist from Sri Lanka and they consider what I do to be Buddhism. In fact some of the Buddhist priests in Sri Lanka said that I must do it in the West because they need more Buddhism there. They are Theravada, but they still recognize it for what it is.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#32 2006-12-10 08:24:47

Harry
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Just to point out:

In my original post Deshimaru never comments on any practice of blowing or playing. He says that 'shakuhachi' is not Zen. He says this after stating that (as he saw it) modern masters who style themselves monks are not monks but professors of shakuhachi. I can't help feeling that there is a matter of the context of the shakuhachi at play here. Maybe he had a good reason for singling shakuhachi out from other 'Zen arts'.

Might this have been a valid statement taken from his experiences of his time in Japan?

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#33 2006-12-10 09:14:15

amokrun
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Harry wrote:

In my original post Deshimaru never comments on any practice of blowing or playing. He says that 'shakuhachi' is not Zen. He says this after stating that (as he saw it) modern masters who style themselves monks are not monks but professors of shakuhachi. I can't help feeling that there is a matter of the context of the shakuhachi at play here. Maybe he had a good reason for singling shakuhachi out from other 'Zen arts'.

Reading the original quote again, unless I understood incorrectly, I get this feeling that what was suggested is that over time the spirituality aspect was lost and it became a matter of skill. In other words, playing the shakuhachi well became important whereas before the important was the spirituality part. As such, the comment "shakuhachi is not Zen" would make sense if you interpret it as "it's not Zen to try to become as good as possible at playing shakuhachi" instead of "it's not Zen to meditate with the aid of shakuhachi".

I don't know where the quote originally comes from and what the original language used was (japanese?). It could very well be that some meaning was lost in translation. At least that is my interpretation of it. It is rather like saying that sitting in a church is not Christianity (true, kind of) even though Christianity usually encourages that (but not for the sake of sitting in a building).

It would be really interesting to debate the merits of different ways of playing for spirituality. For example, something that I often wonder about is whether it would be more spiritual (for the lack of better term) to play something very simple (just ロ, for example, or some trivial melody) or to play some honkyoku. Some find that honkyoku have been designed for just that kind of things whereas others may feel that playing something as complicated as honkyoku makes you focus on the playing and, like the quote suggests, turns you into a professor rather than a Zen student.

I have yet to make up my mind about that. I have a feeling that my personal answer will come once I can play a complicated honkyoku without having to direct all my effort into getting it right. How do others here feel? What do you play for your Suizen?

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#34 2006-12-10 09:48:37

Harry
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

I think its good to challenge all these things: if you think you're doing something 'Zen' then are you? What qualifies 'Zen experience'?

In Daido Loori's "The Zen of Creativity" he mentions in relation to a visit from Watazumido Roshi:

"... The ability to be free in his music was the result of Doso's life-long, unrelenting commitment to the discipline of the breath. He actualy wasn't very interested in the shakuhachi as a musical instrument. He called his flute 'suijo', which loosely translates as "concentrated breathing tool." Doso saw himself not so much as a musician or entertainer, but as one who is totally devoted to developing his life force- chi- by utilising and strengthening his breath. The bamboo flute was simply a tool for that practice. He said once, "Since I must have some way of knowing how my breath is doing, I blow into a piece of bamboo and hear how it sounds."

Although this wouldn't seem to explain the learned and developed defining traditional aspects of Roshi's playing (established enduring melodoes&motiffes, fingerings, techniques, other aspects that defined his playing style but that can be seen to be of the tradition...)

My own feeling is that shakuhachi is not always Zen if Zen is to retain any relative meaning and value. This means that, in certain contexts, shakuhachi is certainly not Zen in relative sense.

Deshimaru's statement is valuable in that it has us question just what we are doing. Is it Zen, is it not Zen, Is it Zen in not being Zen...? Like many such questions I think the answer might be in the question mark if anywhere.

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#35 2006-12-10 10:12:27

Jordan
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Tairaku wrote:

I don't speak or read Japanese. However Zazen practitioners have recommended shakuhachi to me as a substitute for zazen. And my Japanese shakuhachi teachers have told me that what we do is called "suizen" which they translate into English as "blowing zen". Rather than discuss semantics, because it is obvious that at least some Japanese people consider "suizen" to be a zen practice, maybe we should focus on whether or not playing honkyoku is Zen. If Zen is a form of Buddhism then my vote is in the affirmative. My understanding is that there are numerous zen arts including shakuhachi, dance, archery, calligraphy besides sitting and that sometimes these are recommended to various individuals depending upon their personality.

But as I said I don't speak Japanese nor do I consider myself an expert on Buddhism. However my wife is a lifelong Buddhist from Sri Lanka and they consider what I do to be Buddhism. In fact some of the Buddhist priests in Sri Lanka said that I must do it in the West because they need more Buddhism there. They are Theravada, but they still recognize it for what it is.

Tairaku, You are very close to the point.  It is the word "Zen" itself that has been misused.

I hope this clears it up.

http://dogenandtheshobogenzo.blogspot.c … harma.html


There are several types of meditation.  But I would disagree that playing the shakuhachi is a substitute for either contemplative (Soto) or insight (Rinzai) meditation.
Again, good mindfulness practice, which I feel is important unto itself.


Be Well and Happy!
Gassho!

Jordan

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#36 2006-12-10 10:12:29

amokrun
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Harry wrote:

My own feeling is that shakuhachi is not always Zen if Zen is to retain any relative meaning and value. This means that, in certain contexts, shakuhachi is certainly not Zen in relative sense.

I would agree that just playing shakuhachi is not necessarily Zen practice of any kind, just like reading is not necessarily studying although it can be. I don't think that there is anything that is so absolutely Zen-like that regardless of what you do, you are practicing Zen. That would seem rather absurd.

I think the important question is not whether or not something is or isn't Zen but rather how what you are doing contributes towards practicing Zen. For example, I find that playing shakuhachi is more meditative than playing electric guitar. This doesn't necessarily mean that one of them is more or less meditative than the other as an instrument. It simply means that playing shakuhachi as it is typically played works better as a form of meditation than playing electric guitar. At least personally I find that playing a shakuhachi lets me discover those things that Zen people talk about, perhaps even better than through zazen.

It would seem that it's important to separate the instrument (a block of bamboo) from the act of blowing. The block of bamboo may not be spiritual in any way (I'm sure some disagree) but the act of playing one and being mindful about it can be quite so.

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#37 2006-12-10 10:52:16

edosan
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From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?



I am SO glad that we have cleared that up!

Now. What I'd really like to get to next: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

The answer there would be a great step forward in this great mystery.



eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#38 2006-12-10 11:04:59

Harry
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Next question: Is sarcasim 'Zen'?

:-))

Regards,

H.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#39 2006-12-10 13:51:13

edosan
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From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?



One day a young monk at Ryutaku-ji had a kensho, and his
teacher, seeking to deepen this experience, led him on a long walk
up Mount Fuji. Although the monk had seen the great snow
mountain many times before, he truly perceived it now for the
first time (like the monk who truly perceived that the sun was
round), and all the way up, he kept exclaiming over the harmony
and colors of the wildflowers, the flight of birds, the morning
light in the fresh evergreens, the sacred white pine cone! "See how
it is made? This stone, it's so...so stone! Isn't it wonderful? Do
you hear the nightingale? It is a miracle! Oh! Fuji-san!"

Muttering a little, the old master hobbled onward, until finally
his student noticed his long silence and cried out, "Isn't it so?
Aren't these mountains, rivers, and great earth miraculous? Isn't it
beautiful?" The old man turned on him. "Yes-s-s," he said forcefully.
"Bu what a pity to say so!"

                                                   ~ Peter Matthiessen

Last edited by edosan (2006-12-10 13:52:08)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#40 2006-12-10 14:02:47

Karmajampa
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Posts: 574
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

We might ask ourselves, "what is my motivation ?"
To become a proficient shakuhachi player, or to cultivate the mind.
They are not the same.
A rose is not a lotus.

Kel.


Kia Kaha !

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#41 2006-12-10 15:06:40

dstone
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From: Vancouver, Canada
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Posts: 552
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Harry wrote:

Next question: Is sarcasim 'Zen'?

I don't know of this sarcasim of which you speak, Harry.
But I'm collecting Frequent Meditator Zen Club Reward Points.
Each hour of zazen earns me 150 points.
Each hour of shakuhachi practice earns me 100 points.
Sure, zazen practice is worth more points, but it's terribly boring.
I will have earned enough Zen Points to receive a Premium Mega Zen Flute by April.
Points double when I practice with a Premium Mega Zen Flute.
So only another 2,000 hours of practice on the new flute will give me enough points to redeem for Enlightenment.
I think the Enlightenment package comes from China though, so shipping and handling will be the killer.
Is this not the True Path(TM)?

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#42 2006-12-10 15:12:35

Jordan
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From: Vancouver
Registered: 2006-12-08
Posts: 24
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Harry wrote:

Just to point out:

In my original post Deshimaru never comments on any practice of blowing or playing. He says that 'shakuhachi' is not Zen. He says this after stating that (as he saw it) modern masters who style themselves monks are not monks but professors of shakuhachi. I can't help feeling that there is a matter of the context of the shakuhachi at play here. Maybe he had a good reason for singling shakuhachi out from other 'Zen arts'.

Might this have been a valid statement taken from his experiences of his time in Japan?

Regards,

Harry.

Thinking on this more,  perhaps Master Deshimaru was looking at the question a different way.  look at he question like this...

Is the Shakuhachi Buddhisim?


Be Well and Happy!
Gassho!

Jordan

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#43 2006-12-10 18:38:12

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Harry wrote:

What qualifies 'Zen experience'?



Zen mind is not Zen mind. That is, if you are attached to Zen
mind, then you have a problem, and your way is very narrow.
Throwing away Zen mind is correct Zen mind. Only keep the
question, "What is the best way of helping other people?"

                    ~ Seung Sahn


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#44 2006-12-10 20:34:10

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

I would like to go beyond Ed's quote "what is the best way of helping other people ?", we also consider "what is the best way of helping myself ?" but the greater view is to say "what is the best way of helping ?"
Some will say "love yourself", others, "love others", but I would say "be in a state of love".

Kel.     


Kia Kaha !

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#45 2006-12-11 05:23:34

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

edosan wrote:



... and all the way up, he kept exclaiming over the harmony
and colors of the wildflowers, the flight of birds, the morning
light in the fresh evergreens, the sacred white pine cone! "See how
it is made? This stone, it's so...so stone! Isn't it wonderful? Do
you hear the nightingale? It is a miracle! Oh! Fuji-san!"

Muttering a little, the old master hobbled onward, until finally
his student noticed his long silence and cried out, "Isn't it so?
Aren't these mountains, rivers, and great earth miraculous? Isn't it
beautiful?" The old man turned on him. "Yes-s-s," he said forcefully.
"But what a pity to say so!"

                                                   ~ Peter Matthiessen

And yet an awful lot of Zen literature and art could be seen as doing what the young monk was at: relating 'pure' experience using abstract symbolism.

I have no problem with abstract, symbolic communication (language, literature, music, painting and all the arts etc...) as long as it is not the cause of suffering. I think we'd all agree that abstraction has created some things of incredible beauty.

Of course, its 'abstraction' is relative to the creator and to the beholder. If awareness is present, what is abstract and what is real? Were the two ever seperate?

As far as I'm concerned, therein is the the difference between succesfully expressive art and the 'stumbling block' aspects of abstraction.

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#46 2006-12-11 12:49:33

Jordan
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From: Vancouver
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Posts: 24
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Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Jordan wrote:

Amokrun
There are two Kanji for sui: one being sour, or acidic and the other being essence,Elegance or best.

There are four Kanji for Zen: good, goodness, Virtue/religious meditation/all,whole,total/former.

putting the two togeather could be "essence of meditation" depending on the Kanji used. smile

Amokrun,  I would like to appologise for this,  My home PC dose not have a Japanese Language pack installed so all the Kanji was showing up as two question marks.  Kind of changes my perseption now.

I would still stick to the same line of thought though.

Using the word "Zen" I often find myself wanting to wash my mouth.  The term "Zen" garden, Music, etc. is generaly sompthing which causes confusion.  Zen has come to represent alot of things that it is not (to include an mp3 player)   

Harry wrote:

"...Rinzai Roku terminates with an account of master Fuke. Fuke was not a monk, nor was he a layman. Fuke's name has remained famous even until today.
A Fuke sect existed in Japan up until the Meiji revolution. In Japan at that time there existed the Obaku, Rinzai, Soto and Fuke sects.
In the Fuke sect they never practiced zazen; they practiced the flute. Fuke followers always carried a flute with them, and they entered samadhi by playing it. Before the Meji revolution, about one hundred years ago, the Fuke monks held a lot of power. They were used by the Japanese, and they became government spies. But after Meiji their sect was forbidden. Their masters continue today as shakuhachi monks. But they are not monks. They are now professors of shakuhachi. Shakuhachi is not Zen."

(from: "Sit: Zen Teachings of Master Taisen Deshimaru", edited by Phillippe Coupey, Hohm)

Regards,

Harry.

Creating a garden, or blowing mindfully, sitting Zazen are all things that could be a part of an individuals Buddhist practice.  But a garden is not a Buddhist garden, a Flute is not a Buddhist Flute(even if it is played by a Buddhist monk.)  It is a garden or a Flute.  We have entered the word "Zen" into our vocabulary over the melenia and we loose track of its meaning.  This was a great concern of Master Dogen even 800 years ago.  The Buddhists that would concern themselvs with "Zen" This and "Zen" that he called Deamons out tho destroy the "True Dharma".  Comming full circle, and revisiting my previus statement that Suizen is not Zen,  Suizen indead may be a rightfull Buddhist practice indead.  But only if we understand that it is what it is.  It is not blowing a Buddhist flute, but an individual's Buddhist training in action.  If it is not that,  than are you really doing Suizen?


Be Well and Happy!
Gassho!

Jordan

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#47 2006-12-11 13:22:46

amokrun
Member
From: Finland
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 413

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Jordan wrote:

Amokrun,  I would like to appologise for this,  My home PC dose not have a Japanese Language pack installed so all the Kanji was showing up as two question marks.  Kind of changes my perseption now.

Ah, that explains the problem then. I have been somewhat careful about using kanji on these boards because some programs may not display them correctly. Say, trying to show shakuhachi notation using actual japanese characters could turn into meaningless garbage on a browser that won't display them.

Given how these boards deal with a topic that very often bring us to japanese writing in one form or another, I think it would be nice to have some simple tools on these boards to help everyone deal with that. One possibility would be to have a note somewhere in the page that could, for example, display a few kanji and then have a link like "Do you see question marks? Click here". There are other ways to deal with the issue, some involving a fair bit of work and others being a matter of doing few simple things.

Jordan wrote:

I would still stick to the same line of thought though.

Believe it or not, I actually agree with your basic idea. I don't think that shakuhachi is a holy tool that magically turns anything you do into Zen, however you define that. I was mainly trying to build a bridge between the argument Tairaku made and the reply you gave because I felt that you two were arguing about different things. Like you said, a lot of confusion comes from simple definitions. Ultimately it may be pointless to argue over what constitutes as Zen (or studying or flying or anything whatsoever) because you'll always get people who define the term differently.

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#48 2006-12-11 22:31:28

jb
Member
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 24

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

Hi.

Isn't Zen so big that you could not exclude shakuhachi from it?

Isn't shakuhachi so big that you could not exclude Zen from it?

So if both are vast, inexhaustible, we cannot define them and arguments about their meaning are meaningless.

Just sit.  Just blow.

jb

Last edited by jb (2006-12-11 22:32:48)

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#49 2006-12-12 00:16:44

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?



Amen.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#50 2006-12-12 07:04:51

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
Website

Re: Shakuhachi "not Zen"?

jb wrote:

Hi.

Isn't Zen so big that you could not exclude shakuhachi from it?

Isn't shakuhachi so big that you could not exclude Zen from it?

So if both are vast, inexhaustible, we cannot define them and arguments about their meaning are meaningless.

Just sit.  Just blow.

jb

Actually, in the relative world (to falsely seperate reality for a moment :-), there are implied and accepted edges to things that most everybody must realise to function relative to our relative conditions. If shakuhachi and Zen don't have an edge, Is Kenny G then part of the shakuhachi whole? Will you be going to his next concert to hear shakuhachi? Will you be recommending it to your shakuhachi buddies? (please consider not doing it here!)
Is a McDonald's Chicken Nugget Zen? I have no doubt that to the accomplished practitioner it could represent the unity, the universal.

But, just giving the average Joe a Chicken McNugget and expecting them to realise the nature of existence is hardly wise 'skillful means' in the relative scheme of things. We can skillfully realise the relative conditions of people to most effectively help, so that we're not chanting sutras and philosophy as people starve to death for example (where even a Chicken McNugget could prove even more meaningful)

As we come to realise our relative needs (we are required to relate to the implied borders in this world; other people, work for food, food etc.) we come to realise that they are not seperate from the totality but that they have a relative, temporary form that is meaningful relative to our condition: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form..." as the famous sutra suggests.

I would suggest that the strands of the shakuhachi tradition are not so vast that they are inexpressible. Influences, forms, traditional elements, personal innovation or reinvention can be quantified and traced as in other artforms. Zen has a recognised, quantifiable literature and tradition that, again, can be traced and considered and recognised. The 'heart' of Zen if you like, the view that Zen points to in individuals, is beyond even the label 'Zen'. It is non-conceptual of itself and everthing else. This, of course, does not negate the relative reality that we live in, that could quickly become nihilistic 'transcendism'. As far as I'm aware Zen practice does not seek to negate relative reality, but simply reveal how it actually exists (i.e. its 'empty' of self but not non-existing).

To re-use the traditional imagery: lets not confuse the moon and the finger pointing at it. 

Thank you for this interesting discussion.

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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